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Kabetogama Lake : Sunrises, sunsets and Northern Lights

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Kabetogama Lake
Kabetogama Lake
William Lager | MPR News

Kabetogama Lake has made the top eight in our most-loved lake contest. See all the finalists and cast your vote here.

Over 25,000 acres of pristine water along the Canadian border place Kab firmly among Minnesota's most-iconic bodies of water. Like many of these prized lakes, pilgrimages to the middle of nowhere are family traditions for people like Joyce Sample-Carter.

"My parents made their first trip to Kab in 1937. Every summer, we made the 620-mile trek from Illinois. Mom and dad were known as great fishermen. Their boat was well-known on the lake, and it was heard more than once, 'Go fish by that red boat, he knows where the fish are on the reef.' In 1962, They built the current family cabin on the south shore, which has been passed down to my sister and me, and now to my son," Sample-Carter told us via the Public Insight Network, or PIN.

Gappa's Landing at Lake Kabetogama, circa 1950.
Gappa's Landing at Lake Kabetogama, circa 1950.
Minnesota Historical Society

The name Kabetogama means "the lake that lies parallel or double [to Rainy Lake]," according to Warren Upham's "Minnesota Place Names" encyclopedia. That neighboring lake also made our top eight. 

Kab is the sixth-largest lake contained in Minnesota borders, and it attracts lifelong visitors like Phil Hart. He told us in PIN that his summertime visits began in 1952. He's retired there now — "sort of," at least.

"It's a beauty to be preserved for all the years to come. Sunrises, sunsets, and Northern Lights are a national favorite. It is God's place."

Tell MPR News and the Water Main: What makes your lake special?